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Then & Now: Flume Bridge, NH

Sean Murray

The maiden image of a photography series that contrasts the life's work of James F. & George F. Murray. 

The Concept:
It seems simple: photograph scenes of yesterday. But it's much more. For grandson Sean A. Murray it's a pilgrimage—to follow in the literal footsteps of his grandfather. To see things as he saw them—and to capture them in a digital art form. 

The Artwork:
This artwork was originally drawn by James F. Murray and printed by his son George between 1960-1990. A few remain and can be purchased exclusively from JF Murray & Sons.

The Location:
The Flume Bridge straddles the Pemigewasset River in the Franconia Notch of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Built somewhere between 1871-1886 it remains as one of 400 covered bridges that once stood in New Hampshire. 

The bridge is located in an area generally known as The Flume, a gorge cut into the base of Mt. Liberty. For the adventurous there is a trail that leads directly up the gorge on rickety wooden planks during the summer. Since it is winter we hiked a one mile loop with stunning views and crosses over another covered bridge—the Sentinel Pine Bridge (which James also drew and will be released at a later date). 

 

Being the first scene of many to come, this particular location will always hold a special place in the heart's of the Murray family. Our summers were spent hiking, swimming, boating, and siteseeing the lakes and mountain regions of New Hampshire. It was in the Franconia Notch where grandson Sean A. Murray proposed to his wife Serena atop Artist's Bluff during a snow storm. 

Battling 7° weather in the exact place James stood around 50 years earlier and lining up his composition through the lens of a digital camera while observing how the environment has changed—and not changed—was a moment we will remember forever. 

Photographed by Sean A. Murray on December 28, 2015